Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) has closed on $1.75 billion in private activity bonds (PABs) underwritten by Morgan Stanley and purchased by 67 different investors to help fund the company’s expansion from West Palm Beach, on the Florida East Coast Railway, to Orlando. Virgin described the closing as “one of the largest PAB transactions to date.”
The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) is severing ties with Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell LLC (CCH), the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm that has been managing NRC’s operations for the past 15 years.
In a competitive bid, the Georgia Port Authority selected RailComm, LLC as the yard management system provider for the new Port of Savannah Multi-Modal Connector, RailComm announced on April 10.
Railroads are a critical component of America’s transportation infrastructure, and have been making significant investments in advanced networked computer control systems and information technologies. This has enabled the employment of new capabilities such as “Positive Train Control and “Precision Railroading” with increased operational efficiencies and improvements in safety. However, the introduction of these new technologies also results in increased organizational and system vulnerabilities to disruption arising from cyberattacks .
Trackmobile, Zephir S.p.A. and LEAF locomotive have joined forces under the Berkshire Hathaway, Marmon Holdings, Inc. umbrella to form Global Railcar Mover Group (GRMG), which aims to “demonstrate its unparalleled commitment to safe rail operations and elevate each member to the next level in their commitment.”
At its 2019 CONNECTIONS Convention in Orlando, Fla., the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) presented Peter A. Gilbertson, President and CEO of Anacostia Rail Holdings Co., with the 2019 Thomas L. Schlosser Distinguished Service Award, and honored Cleo Johnson, Jr., Maintenance-of-Way Foreman, Mississippi Export Railroad, was as Safety Person of the Year and David Nagy, Executive Director of Safety, Springfield Terminal d/b/a Pan Am Railway, as Safety Professional of the Year.
When last we heard from American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) President Chuck Baker, he was testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety on the role Class II and III railroads play in supporting intermodal connections across the U.S. surface transportation network. He also urged support for the Short Line 45-G Tax Credit.
The just-abandoned GoTriangle light rail project in North Carolina, while never a slam-dunk, was until recently an interesting game. Now, after a few critical blocked shots and maybe even several offensive fouls, it appears to be a forfeit.
Richard Schaefer, P.E., has joined New Jersey Transit as Chief Engineer in the Capital Planning and Program department.
For New Jersey Transit, the days of subsisting on a starvation capital diet imposed by former Gov. Chris Christie appear over. On March 26, the agency hosted an open house for prime contractors, small businesses and DBEs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises), the first such event in 10 years. On the table: More than $800 million in contracting opportunities for capital projects that will be available in the upcoming year.